From oceanfront estates to rustic cabins, there's a home to match every lifestyle in the Lone Star State. These Texas neighborhoods, in varying stages of development, are second-home meccas. Which one is right for you?
If you want the beach: Beachtown, Galveston
- Vibe: Languid and leisurely, with vernacular architecture—a charming coastal community on the island’s East End that’s slowly but surely building to its full potential.
- Cost: $415,000 (one-bedroom loft) to $3.3 million (five-bedroom estate)
- Distance: One hour by car. You could leave the office and be on the beach by sundown.
- Amenities: A quaint town center holds a café and bistro, bike shop, and ice cream parlor, but the real draw is—what else?—East Beach, which is actually expanding thanks to coastal accretion, a natural phenomenon that’s the opposite of erosion.
If you want the old country: Friedën, Fredericksburg
- Vibe: Peaceful, private, and nature-oriented, this former peach orchard is in the early stages of its rebirth as a 219-acre master-planned community in the middle of Texas wine country, strongly influenced by the region’s early German settlers. (Note: Airbnbing your haus is verboten here.)
- Cost: $95,000–$300,000 lots, for three styles of modern farmhouse
- Distance: About 4 hours—you’ll want to stay at least a weekend.
- Amenities: There are plans for five miles of trails, three lakes, a gym, a pool, and community gathering spaces, plus, eventually, a commercial/shopping district.
If you want to golf: Bentwater, Montgomery
- Vibe: Stately, exclusive, and resort-like, this 12.5-mile shoreline development is a sportsman’s paradise, a gated, 1,400-acre waterfront golf community nestled between Lake Conroe and Sam Houston National Forest.
- Cost: Homes range from the high $200s to $4 million, says Lake Conroe realtor Cindy Lehenbauer.
- Distance: An hour and a half—just a bit north of The Woodlands.
- Amenities: Country club, three courses with 54 holes of championship golf, full-service day spa, marina, yacht club, fitness center, pool, racquet club, and guest villas.
If you want nature: The Preserve at Walnut Springs, Johnson City
- Vibe: Classic Hill Country: tranquil, agrarian, and lush. Most of the land on this 2,000-acre ranch is protected, and outdoor recreation abounds.
- Cost: $299,000–$550,000 lots, between 5 and 7 acres
- Distance: Just under 4 hours—meets “road trip” threshold.
- Amenities: Equestrian center, 22-mile trail system, spring-fed swimming hole, hammock groves, bass fishing, guided hunts, and a 24-hour clubhouse with pools and patios.